Several residents file lawsuit against Atlantic Beach, developers over proposed ‘condotel’

Published: Sep. 27, 2023 at 12:47 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 6:15 AM EDT
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ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Town of Atlantic Beach and developers are being sued over a proposed condotel that, according to a lawsuit, would dramatically alter the historic town.

The lawsuit was filed by nonprofit Supporters for Tysons Ancestral Restrictions on the Deeds and several citizens against the town and Morant Properties and 9 Thru 11 + 1. Morant Properties and 9 Thru 11 + 1 are the developers behind the proposed high-rise.

The plaintiffs claim the building would violate the town’s original deed restrictions set by George Tyson in the 1930s and 40s. They said Tyson made plans to subdivide and develop Pearl Beach, which was later incorporated into Atlantic Beach.


In those plans, Tyson restricted the use of “prime oceanfront and nearby parcels in Pearl Beach for non-residential uses,” the lawsuit states.

The plans were passed down to subsequent purchasers “via covenants that ran with the land,” according to the lawsuit.

Because of this, the plaintiffs claim they have the right to enforce the restrictions on the Pearl Beach lots, where the proposed condotel would sit.

The plaintiffs are asking for a court judgment on the matter, hoping to block the town from giving out permits for the condotel.

Back in July, Town Administrator Benjamin Quattlebaum told WMBF News there had not been any official rezoning application submitted by the developer or property owner.

The proposed high rise would include 168 hotel rooms, 36 short-term rental units, 24 condo units and 11-story parking. Some Atlantic Beach residents have fought the $80 million project, saying it is not what the town wants.

Quattlebaum said he does not have a comment on the lawsuit.

Charles Morant, owner of Morant Properties LLC, said, " Our plans are consistent with regulatory requirements.”

Morant also said in response to the lawsuit, ”We believe this is frivolous, and we are going to fight this in court.”

Elaine Finney is part of STARD and couldn’t comment on the lawsuit. She did, however explain her thoughts on the high-rise.

“I think when Mr. Tyson bought this property in 1934, he had the vision that this would be a family-owned neighborhood,” said Finney.

She added the group is not against all development projects, just ones on a large scale such as this proposed one.

“We are not opposed to small-scale development, commercial hotels. But a 21-story high-rise,” she said.

The full lawsuit can be read below: